Friday, October 9, 2009

The content-writing mistake: Don't tell people to look for their baby strollers in the mall

Web site owners tick me off with their often lousy pay rates. But, guess what? We content writers often tick off site owners, too, with our lousy work.

Don't believe me? Check out this blog post on It's Write Now by Emma Nelson, an owner of several niche Web sites and a person I often write stories for. Emma writes about some of the big sins writers make when composing niche articles. Some are fairly obvious such as repeating keywords over and over in a 300-word story.

Some are more humorous. Emma describes writers explaining what candles or Teddy bears are. Yes, we all know what these things are. But some writers are compelled to tell readers in great detail that a candle can provide light, but only when lit. (That, of course, can lead to a 100-word paragraph on what a match is.)

But one of Emma's last points resonated the most with me because I've been guilty of it. She complains about writers who fill their stories with paragraphs telling readers that they can find Teddy bears, candles, MP3 players, iPods or whatevers at their local mall or department store.

Thing is, the owners of niche sites don't want their readers to buy these things at a store. They want them to buy them at the links they provide on their sites.

So remember, folks, as much as we complain about lowball offers and unrealistic deadlines, the people we write for are complaining just as much about lousy writing, missed deadlines and idiot writers -- myself included -- who tell people to buy their crap at the mall.

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